CNU guys share the loveeee…

from Sean Robertson…
So I want to talk about purity… (Insert awkward silence). I know, when we think of purity, our thoughts immediately go to sexual purity. While that is a part of it, the root of purity goes much deeper than that. 1 Peter 1:22, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” Sisters, the root of our purity comes from the heart and from obedience to THE truth, which is the word of God. For a while, I always had assumed that when the Bible talked about purity, it meant sexual purity; I obviously did not have the big picture!! Purity is not a checklist of do’s and don’ts. Purity in the eyes of Jesus is from the heart that seeks to honor God in all circumstances; it is discerning, gentle, and merciful, far deeper than the exterior (James 3:17). In a relationship, this can be the boundaries that you and your significant other set so that Christ can be magnified through your relationship. Loving someone in a relationship that honors Christ means sacrificing those things that may seem pleasurable now for the greater good of you and your significant other guarding each other’s hearts.

      I would also encourage you ladies who wish to date, find a man who is willing to step out of his comfort zone for you. Does he approach you when you are with your friends? Does he find ways to talk to you, just for the sake of having a conversation? Has he been intentional with where he wants to take your relationship, or with goals for a future relationship you are hoping for?  If you are a woman of God, you are worth the pursuit! Him stepping out of his comfort zone for you shows that he values you as a woman. When I first asked my now girlfriend out on our first date, one of the things I told myself (because I was very shy, and awkward), was that “she is so worth me stepping out of my comfort zone.” For me, this has set a precedent for the future and helped me shape my intentions throughout our relationship. If he is not clear on his intentions, don’t be afraid to ask. The end goal of dating is marriage and if a guy is not clear on his intentions for a relationship, that is a big red flag! Remember, you were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20), wait for a man who honors the Lord by taking care of your heart and being intentional with you! 
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from Graham McNeely…
Dear Sisters,
           
      Know you are seen. Know you are loved, appreciated, and spoken highly of. Know you are viewed as passionate followers of Jesus, strong in many capacities that we as your brothers admire greatly. Know your devotion to and pursuit of the Father is remarkable, and does not go unnoticed. Know you specifically are seen as a picture of God’s beauty, both in aesthetics and heart. Know we are proud of you, and we love you. Thank you for the encouraging words that stem from your tender hearts. You may never know their significance. Believe that every protest your mind came up with to what you have read so far is something none of us will ever think or fathom, and is likely not true. Trust that we, as your brothers, do pray for you often. Please pray for us, too. Believe that we often-difficult men do learn from you. Have grace and forgiveness for us when we do mess up, we are all figuring this life out, too. Accept our apology if you have never heard any of these statements before. Most of all, please keep loving and worshiping our God, for He is so worthy.
Peace be with you,
Sean(Left-being funny) Senior at CNU
Graham(Right-smiling) Junior at CNU
– Brothers
“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” -Hebrews 13:20-21

seeking godliness/Jon Lincoln/ODU

In short, the encouragement I would share, to all ladies, concerning singleness, dating, modesty, purity, relationships, etc. would be:
Seek godliness: first for yourself, then for men.
Alright that’s it! I’m done!
Just kidding! Who do you think I am, leaving such an overarching vague statement undefined?
Seek godliness, first for yourself:
Be rooted in your knowledge of Christ and what he has done for you — bringing salvation to you and reuniting you with God through his death — (if you don’t have this knowledge please, please seek it first) I urge you to seek godliness, this is actively pursuing God and His will for your life. Now, this is good practical advice for any believer. And exactly why it is my encouragement to you today. Specifically regarding the subject, seeking godliness means seeking Biblical womanhood. This it the “first to yourself” aspect of my encouragement. The good ol’ Proverbs 31 is a good place to start. While the chapter has many good points on womanhood, I really want to draw your attention to verse 30 “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Out of all the wonderful verses on womanhood in Proverbs 31, verse 30 is the only one that says what aspect of Biblical womanhood that is praiseworthy. This is why it is important for y’all to seek godliness, first for yourself. It’s not charm, it’s not beauty, but it’s a healthy respect of God and earnestly seeking God that is most to be honored.
Please, seek God, first, before any relationship. Praises are lifted when you do!
Let’s move on to the latter half of the encouragement. Seek godliness for men (REMEMBER this is after yourself). Seek godliness (i.e. Biblical manhood) for all men, and in the man God has set aside as your husband (that is if you aren’t called to singleness, but that’s a whole other subject). In order to know and seek godliness for men, you need to study it. So, I am going to give y’all a quick jump in the right direction. I’m not sure if you have ever noticed this, but just as there a Proverbs 31 woman, there is a Proverbs 31 man. There are multiple verses within Proverbs 31 that speak on biblical manhood, but the verse I would like you to look at today (I encourage you to study it in-depth yourself and find that Proverbs 31 man) is verse 23 “Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.” A biblical man should be known by people. Not for foolishness, but for his being an elder. This does not mean every man should be an elder in the church, but godly men are to seek to have the qualities of an elder. In 1 Timothy 3, we find the qualifications of an elder. As before, I encourage you to study them all on your own and encourage them in men, but here are a few of the characteristics of elders — sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, and hospitable.
Please encourage men to seek godliness, earnestly seeking to know God and His will for their lives. Please do not pursue a relationship with guys that aren’t seeking God and aren’t seeking godliness.
Remember ladies! Seek godliness: first for yourself, then for men.
Jon is a senior studying at ODU.
Extras: “First for yourself” – study all the women in the bible, some you could start with, Ruth, Esther (they both have their own books), Lydia, Priscilla, Mary, Martha, Hannah etc.
“Then for men” – study biblical men and their qualities, David, Stephen, Phillip, Solomon, Job, Aquila, etc.
Someone else’s thoughts on the subject – http://www.thevillagechurch.net/resources/sermons/a-beautiful-design/

A How to Guide to “Guarding your Heart”//James Walker


“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Psalms 4:23(NIV)

When I was asked to write a blog post about dating and relationships one of the first topics that came to my mind was “Guarding your heart” in relationships. Guarding your heart is one of those Christianese sayings that everyone throws around but very rarely explains. Most of the people I have talked to would say that “taking it slow”, or “protecting each other’s emotions” which both sound great but aren’t much in the way of a definition and still left me confused about what to actually do. So I want to discuss what it means to guard your heart, why it’s so important, and a few tips on how to do it.

WHAT IT MEANS…

            When people talk about guarding your heart in the context of a dating relationship they are usually talking about maintaining healthy emotional boundaries in relationships. I think that this is a really good thing! As Christians we often focus on physical boundaries but don’t think about our relationship being emotionally healthy. It’s easy to check off the box for physical purity and forget to be disciplined in other areas. However, just like there can be repercussions from too much physical intimacy in a relationship, becoming too emotionally intimate too soon can negatively affect your relationships. One of the easiest ways to see this is by looking at how emotional intimacy affects your physical relationships. The closer two people get emotionally the harder it gets to maintain healthy physical boundaries. God designed emotional and physical intimacy to grow together. These are gifts that God intended for marriage. Guarding yourself emotionally in a dating relationship prepares you to more fully enjoy what God has for you in the future.  So here a few tips that I’ve been taught and that I’ve learned along the way:

1. DON’T GET TOO PERSONAL TOO SOON! This is a tip that I first got from a discipler in college. Basically don’t share really deep life issues too early in a relationship. You don’t have to know each other’s deepest secret thoughts and feelings right away. It’s really important to have friends who you can trust with this kind of stuff but it doesn’t have to be your significant other.  Sharing each other’s burdens and learning more about each other is important but should happen at the appropriate time.
This can also apply to spiritual activities and conversations. Activities like praying together or studying the Bible together are incredibly personal and can take relationships too deep too soon!  It’s important to learn where people are in their faith and their thoughts and views on God, but that can be done by going to the same church or campus ministry. Just because something is about Jesus doesn’t mean its good for your relationship.
Have conversations that help you get to know each other more but make sure that level of that conversation is proportional to how long you’ve been together and how much longer until you can make a permanent commitment.  Think through what topics are really personal for you and don’t be afraid to say it’s “too soon” to talk about something if it comes up.

2. BE INTENTIONAL WITH HOW YOU SPEND TIME TOGETHER!“Intentional” is another one of those Christianese words that people throw out all the time but don’t always define it. What I mean in this context is that as Christians we are called to be good stewards of the time we’re given (Eph. 5:16), so we need to make sure that we use it wisely and in ways that are edifying for ourselves and others.
One of the biggest pitfalls I’ve seen in my past relationships is spending too much time together. It’s easy when you’re in a relationship to spend an unhealthy amount of time together and that leads to being emotionally too close and dependent.  Rather than being together all day everyday, set aside specific time to get to know each other and each other’s character. Spend more time in groups. It’s a great way to learn more about each other! You can see how they interact with others and get a better understanding of them as a person.
Not only can spending too much time together be bad for your relationship it can also detract from other relationships! We are all members of one body (1 Cor. 12:27), and all have a role to play in God’s plan for the world around us. A good way to check if you’re spending too much time together is to ask if this relationship is detracting from others that God has placed in your life.  Talk with your significant other about how much time you want to spend together during the week and set boundaries on how you spend your time.

3. SEARCH FOR SATISFACTION IN GOD NOT RELATIONSHIPS By far the most important step in guarding your heart is finding primary satisfaction in your relationship with God, not anywhere else. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus call us to “Seek first his kingdom” and promises that everything we need will be added. Relationships have always been a big idol for me. Not just relationships with girls, but with friends, classmates, and teammates.  I know from experience that when you try and find satisfaction or validation from anywhere other than God it is ultimately frustrating and unfulfilling.
Not only that but it can also lead to an unhealthy level of importance being given to what other people think and say about you. In past relationships I would often find myself on the moon when a girlfriend would say something good about me and be crushed when they said something bad. When another person becomes your ultimate source of satisfaction it’s easy to forget about maintaining healthy emotional boundaries, but when you keep God first in your life, other relationships can slide into their proper position. Make sure that your seeking God and placing your relationship with him above all other relationships.
//James is a Senior at William & Mary.
He is also affiliate staff with Cru//
          We all desire to have healthy relationships and one of the best ways to do that is by guarding your heart.  The end goal of dating is marriage and hopefully you will only marry ONE of all the people you date- so it’s important to maintain healthy emotional boundaries until we find that one! But most importantly we need to remember to keep God first in our lives and faithfully seek after him!